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Respectable Backyard Birding Photography Setup


From our "For What it's Worth Department", below is a shot of what we'd consider a respectable backyard birding photography kit. (Truth be told, the tally of capturing "that special bird" runs from the cost of a box of crayons to tens of thousands of dollars and beyond. But we think this sort of rig strikes a reasonable middle ground at around $1,000 and will stretch the artistic capabilities of most of us...)

Decent photo setup resized_101_0618.JPG

So what are we looking at here? Well...

  • Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT: We have the 10.2 MP unit - a fine investment.
  • Two lenses... An 18-55mm, and a 55-250mm: For the moment, these will do nicely. (Down the road, we're hankering for one of those big honking units you see on the sidelines in Monday Night Football. It could happen...)
  • A remote shutter release and tripod: IMHO, those are "must haves". Say what you will about lens stabilizers and tripods, but the ability to bedrock the camera, step back, and remotely trigger the device without nary a tremble is the only way to go.
  • Compact Pentax 12x24 binoculars: We like these for their exceptional clarity and ruggedness. (I ran over them once with a truck and they still perform beautifully...) Nowadays, the Bushnell Powerview 8x21 look to be a good value at sub $20.
  • Spare SD card and battery for the camera: Ahhh... Nothing like running out or resources when that pterodactyl appears...

And that's about it - a lifetime of quality enjoyment for the cost of a dinner for four, parking, and a quartet of decent seats at a MLB game.

See you by the feeders,


Cornell Ornithology Laboratory: Inside Birding

Cornell Ornithology Laboratory: All About Birding

eBirdseed.com photo library

eBirdseed and misc. references

Other birding references

eBirdseed.com bird cam

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Nice equipment. My tripod is half the sturdiness of yours, but I only paid $10 for it, plus $20 shipping. But it served fine for my first Flip videos you saw. My next venture will be about how to make or buy a remote trigger for the Olympus digital camera. For the video cam, I set up the view I want, then turn it on for 30 minutes. Then I look at what it captured and if a small segment is interesting, I'll make that into a YouTube video. As you can see, my progress is pretty slow.
Harry "Gipper" Morris

Hi Harry,

I wouldn't worry about the equipment... I have a tripod that I got at a yard sale for $1... Yeah, it's a little shaky, but I can make it work just fine.

As for the remote trigger... I can't live without mine. It's so nice to be able to point the camera where I want, step back, freeze, and snap the pic!

You and I are on the exact same page concerning the video... Unfortunately, I find about 90% of all my video is a waste of time... Arghhh! (And I like to watch birds because they're relaxing???)

Thanks again for the viewership and hang in there...


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